Julia J. Rucklidge, PhD, is a Professor of Psychology and a Clinical Psychologist in the School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing at the University of Canterbury, the Director of Te Puna Toiora, the Mental Health and Nutrition Research Lab, theme leader in the Child Wellbeing Institute, and co-author of The Better Brain jointly published by Penguin Random House and Harper Collins in 2021.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, she completed her PhD at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology and in 2000, she immigrated to New Zealand. Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of research showing poor outcomes for individuals with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving standard conventional treatments.
For over a decade, her lab has been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the treatment of mental illness, including ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress. Julia has over 140 peer reviewed publications, including in the Lancet Psychiatry, JAMA and the British Journal of Psychiatry and is currently on the Executive Committee for the International Society of Nutritional Psychiatry Research.
She has been the recipient of many awards, including the Ballin Award from the NZ Psychological Society for significant contributions to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand, being named as a Woman of Influence in New Zealand in 2015, 2018, and 2021, and a Braveheart award for her contribution to making Christchurch a better place to live. Her 2014 TEDx talk has been viewed over 2.5 million times. She recently created a free EdX online course for the public on mental health and nutrition. She is also a longstanding member of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal (HPDT).
Having witnessed current conventional treatments failing so many people, Julia is passionate about advocating that a good nutritional foundation is central to helping people prevent and recover from mental health challenges.